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Everything posted by coffeefreak

  1. I'm looking at The Academy at Bright Ideas Press classes for my daughter next year (11th grade), and am wondering if anyone is currently enrolled and can give feedback. We are looking at English III, American History, Spanish 2, Chemistry and Geometry. They are having a sale for the month of February, but I'm having a hard time committing without any info from other homeschoolers. I've looked at Big River and Excelsior, but the course descriptions and youtube videos from Bright Ideas Press seem to fit my daughter better. Even if you're not enrolled in these classes, let me know what you think of the instructors and the experience. It's hard to spend over $2000 with only a 50% refund when you don't know what you're getting into. 😓 Thanks! academy.brightideaspress.com
  2. So my youngest has been doing A Beka Academy's World History class and it's bad. so I need to find something else, preferably secular, and not just people and dates. In other words, more rhetoric and less grammar phase. I just need to complete the year and get her to the 1900's because I'm pretty sure I'm going to make her do a Modern World History course next year because I think it's that important to study the 1900's in depth. So what do I do for this semester? Spielvogel? MOH with a lot of discussion? Something else? She just finished the Protestant Revolution. Any and all suggestions accepted. Thanks!
  3. Well, I'm a burnt out homeschool mom of 2 that has homeschooled from the beginning, graduated one last year, and has tried several times to throw in the towel with my second (including recently). 1. Why am I burnt out? I did lose myself. I was doing everything for the family AND homeschooling. That worked in elementary school but not in high school. Someone on this thread said they hated high school and I whole heartedly agree. It's not fun. It's in the trenches dirty work, and feels like bare knuckled boxing every. single.day. Between the teenage drama, the testing, the "requirements," and the admin work, I barely made it through the first one, and have twice begged my second daughter to go to school. Life is hard enough without adding homeschooling and being EVERYTHING to and for a child school-wise. There's a reason High School teachers have specialties and teach the same subject all day, and I think that's why a lot of us burn out in high school. I AM NOT a math teacher and contrary to what I was promised, I did not understand Algebra any better the second time around, nor should I have been teaching it. it was a nightmare. Life also contributed to the burn out. We went through a major cross country move right before my oldest started high school, and the last 5 years have been beyond rough, so burn out was inevitable. I can't go into detail publicly, but we all have our major life events and issues, and it absolutely affects how you homeschool, and what you accomplish. 2. How have I been coping? Prayer, reconnecting and getting real with my girlfriends, and an all in one, online curriculum. My youngest has been doing Abeka Academy for the last 2.5 years and it has been a God-send for us as a family. It was distasteful to me at first and flew in the face of everything I believed as a homeschooler. I was anti-textbook and really really wanted to hold on to the Charlotte Mason, love of learning, sitting cozy on the couch and reading books curriculum that we loved. But, I just couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't do everything I needed to do as a wife, mother and adult AND be the teacher, so this is what we did. 3. How did I "Find myself" again? I got a really good counselor, and I stopped listening to what others said I SHOULD be doing, and started doing what I want to do. I got a part time job to help with income because I was tired of struggling and I was honestly starting to get bored. I started taking private yoga lessons because I have chronic pain and had not worked out in 2 years because of it. My husband and I go away every year for our anniversary and it's HEAVENLY (the advantages of having teenagers, but we have also paid people to stay with them). I also started handing off some of what I was doing to my husband. There was a time when he couldn't help me. He worked two jobs so we could homeschool and survive, and it has been a hard road. However, we both made the mistake of not seeing that life was changing and with that change, he could lift the burden off of me. He grades all the Spanish, Science and Math. I grade all the History, English, Electives and I am the Admin and scheduler of our school. It has made life so much better both for us as a married couple and us as a family. And back to the girlfriends, I started being honest with my friends and telling them I was burnt out. I told them what was REALLY going on in my life, and that it was far different from what they were seeing on social media, and you know what? They started confiding in me, and we are all realizing, we all need each other. It's nice to have friends who don't judge again. 4. What will I do to finish out the next two years? I haven't decided yet. I've been looking at The Well Trained Mind Academy, which is how I ended up here for the first time in almost 5 years. I've also been looking at Aim Academy (Debra Bell), which my older daughter used for AP English. I have realized once my girls get to 11th grade, they are beyond my capabilities as a teacher. I love history and English, and CAN teach it, but, again, it takes me away from other areas I'm needed so it's either A Beka or something else online. The only reason I'm thinking of leaving A Beka is I still have to do all the grading and the facilitating, and I'd like to find her something where she gets feedback from other teachers. I see it as a good way to prep for college. It worked well for my oldest, who is now a college freshman (in spite of my failings 😉 ), and I think it's the right thing to do. So there you have it! A mom who has homeschooled from the beginning, been burnt out MANY MANY MANY times, and still/will persevere through to the end. I did love it. I know I was a part of something special, and I will miss it terribly (elementary school, NOT High School, I will never miss High School. 😄 ). But honestly, don't beat yourself up if you decide to put your kiddos in a brick and mortar school. We are all just trying to do the best for each of our kids, and our families, and sometimes, that means changing course. It will all work out in the end. ❤️
  4. Also, we have used attuneup several times for writing, and have always been pleased. Ms. Tanaka is very gracious and giving. When we were unemployed, she allowed us to pay what we could for the class, and provided she has room, she might be able to help some of you out. http://www.attuneup.com/ http://www.attuneup.com/tuition-policy.html
  5. I wanted to mention that BJU Press just had their $99 sale. It's not a live class, and you grade everything (except tests and quizzes for grades 5 and up), but it might be a viable option for some of you. The sale has ended, but if enough of you call and ask, they may be willing to reopen it for Landry Academy students. It doesn't hurt to ask. Blessings and hugs to all of you.
  6. This is exactly what it was. We did the new DLO class and I would highly recommend spending the money unless you're just REALLY REALLY into World History and alllllllllll the dry facts that pertain. ;) Sometimes they have a $99 sale for their DLO classes around December. You don't get the books, but you can easily find them used. You get the videos for one full year so you'll have plenty of time to finish the course if you decide to go that route. Blessings!
  7. Can we do this after the fact? So, for example, my oldest is taking Advanced Biology this year and I'm thinking about having her take the AP exam in the spring. I was just going to list it as an AP course on her transcript if she scored well on the test. Do we have to submit the syllabus before the school year starts in order to list it on the transcript? I guess I thought I knew what I was doing and now I'm realizing I don't. :confused1:
  8. A friend has asked me to post this for her. She can see your answers and questions, she's just trying to protect her son's anonymity and feelings. TIA! :) He is 10 and can not memorize math facts. He can do the same fact family for weeks (and does as that is how Rod and Staff is set up. He is still struggling through R&S 2 unsure emoticon We have been in this book for 2 years) but he still doesnt know that fact family. I can ask him 10 times what 9+5 is and each time I ask its like he has never heard of those words before. He has dyscalcula I just found out so now I know why we have been in R&S 2 for 2 years abd are only 1/2 way through. I am thinking to get the Al Abacus book for the 4 basic operations. I have BJU 2 that I plan on going through when I get the manipulative book for it. After that I am planning on doing Saxon 3 with the deluxe manipulative set. I guess I just need input from other dyscalcula moms. I think he has a working memory deficit too but haven't looked into it yet. He also has HFA, dysgraphia, and dyslexia (all diagnosed).
  9. How funny that you knew exactly what I was talking about. Good memories, good times. :)
  10. This is what finally worked for me. I found some Ryan Gosling, a Kilt and a nun, :lol: but no Johnny Depp?!? Does that mean they're gone already or do I still need to do a search? Did some of the pics disappear with the last forum switch over? So sorry this has turned into an issue Susan. Blessings! Dorinda
  11. Yes, and my head is spinning. We dropped Swim Team, a Shakespeare class and a drama group. We are starting Art classes and voice lessons. We joined a co-op and one of the classes I'm teaching is not working out. I'm beyond exhausted and I'm wondering when everything will even out. :willy_nilly:
  12. Has anyone done BJU or looked into HOD's new Geography course? I'd love to hear thoughts/reviews on those as well. We were all set to do Ancients again and my 9th grader put the brakes on it. I'm kind of glad though. I need a break from the classical cycle LOL!
  13. My dd was in 5th grade when we did this. I know, not quite Jr High, but since no one has responded, I thought I'd toss some ideas out there. :) So, we used Rod and Staff. We always use Rod and Staff for Grammar. For Writing, I'm having a hard time remembering what we used that exact year, I believe it was mainly Rod and Staff along with the assignments in the SOTW activity book. If your student is in Jr High though, The Elegant Essay is my favorite. I love how you can split it up into chunks and really focus on one part of an essay with your student. We started it at the end of 6th grade to learn about Thesis statements and opening paragraphs, and worked through it her 7th grade year to perfect the different elements of an essay. This year, for 8th grade, I used it as a refresher course about a month ago. She did exercises in the book she hadn't completed before to brush up on her skills and fine tune them. I've been looking into Essentials in Writing for my daughters and thought you might be interested too. It does combine Grammar and Writing, is affordable AND is video driven. Music to my ears right now LOL! Hope that helps!
  14. I will be able to tell you next week. Since my dd is 14 and I don't have time to hand hold, I'm having her write a one page paper next week on what she's learned, and give me an oral presentation. She's not terribly happy about it, but my comment to her was, if she's going to take outsourced classes that need to go on her transcript, and she doesn't want me to hold her hand, she has to legitimize it. I know your girls are younger, but you should have them teach you what they've been learning. Maybe next week, after class has ended, have them show it all to you. This is such a great class. I'm so glad you told us all about it. Blessings! Dorinda
  15. That was so helpful Sue! Thanks for posting your link. Just out of curiosity, I wanted to read the previous threads re Grammar after 8th grade, but when I click on the links, they're gone. Do you know where I can find them, or are they gone forever? Thanks! Dorinda
  16. We're in! Book is purchased and she has day 1 of the homework done. This was such a lifesaver for us! Thank you so much for posting. Just Monday, my dd came to me and asked how to do the research for a paper on the internet. I had no clue! Even in college, we weren't allowed to use the internet as a resource and Encyclopedias are going by the wayside (at least the hard copies are). This course is very timely for us. Thanks again! Dorinda
  17. Happy, She hasn't told me whether my dd is in the class yet or not? Should I e-mail her? I must admit we're stalking the e-mail because of the assignments that have to be completed before class. Dorinda
  18. I just signed my daughter up for the next class that starts Thursday! I can't believe I ran across this thread, thank you so much!!! This is going to be a lifesaver for us!
  19. We did Veritas' transition class in 6th grade with my dd and it really is for Jr High. I don't even think they'll allow your DD in next year because of her age, but I could be wrong on that. If you call, they'll be more than happy to answer all of your questions. We did the class one of the first years they offered it and when they were transitioning to their current Scholars program. We had intended to continue with VP but found it cost prohibitive. That being said, it was an EXCELLENT class for many reasons. Great discussion, many writing opportunities (at a Jr High Level), memorization exercises, and just an overall good experience. I'm thinking about having my youngest do it in 8th grade before high school. HTH! Dorinda
  20. This is absolutely what happened with us this year. I would much rather buy and return or re-sell curriculum than try to suffer through a math program that isn't working for my kid. We have TC Pre-Algebra so I just want to chime in and share our experience. I followed this thread for a year and agonized over what to do with my dd 8th grader this year. She has STRUGGLED with math to the point where she tested at a 4th grade level going into 6th grade. She used MUS for several years, and while it got the basics done, I had a hard time seeing how it was going to prepare her for higher level math. So, we purchased TC to use with MUS originally, hoping it would fill in some gaps. After combing through both curriculum, I decided I wanted to try her in a more "Mainstream" math program. No harm in trying, right? So, I thought maybe we'd use TC on it's own, but because my dd had used MUS for several years, she had serious gaps in topics TC assumed she knew. Just like any math curriculum, if you're switching from one to the other, you need to compare scope and sequence, what gets covered when. I spent the next month killing myself, searching for an online or video based math that would either A) get her caught up to TC or B) work with TC. What I ended up with was Saxon Algebra 1/2 and it has worked WONDERFULLY, just not with Tablet Class. Many have commented that Saxon Algebra 1/2 is a wasted year because it spends so much time reviewing and re-teaching basic math and gently introducing Algebra. They're exactly right, If you have a student that has had no problems with math, and has plugged through whatever program in Elementary School with no major issues, you probably don't need Algebra 1/2. However, for those that have struggled through, aren't quite ready for Algebra, and/or have some major gaps, this is a great year. As for TC, I think maybe this summer I might use it as a review to keep her fresh. She is definitely a, "Use it or lose it" math student and I think TC Pre-Algebra would easily fit into a summer review. I don't think it's lacking, it's just strictly Pre-Algebra. Because there is no lead in, or solidifying the basic concepts that a student NEEDS to do Pre-Algebra, a student that has ANY gaps will have issues jumping in IMO. Even the vocabulary used assumes the student knows what the instructor is talking about. My DD had never learned Absolute Value and negative numbers and while TC seemed to review it, she needed to be TAUGHT it and have it introduced. There's a big difference between teaching and review. If you're extremely confident teaching math, you might be able to fill in the gaps. Hopefully that will help another "Fence straddler" get off the fence and take a plunge. I bought 3 programs this year and it was totally worth it to find the perfect one for us. :) Blessings! Dorinda OH and a little PS here, we use Kahn academy with Saxon at least 2-3 times a week. Best free program EVER! If I don't know how to explain it, Sal does. :)
  21. That's actually a really good idea. That's how Beautiful Feet does its American History study for the elementary grades and it works well for most of the year. :seeya:
  22. I was looking at this last night and I like the looks of them, they're just SUPER expensive. The Library has a bunch so I'm hoping I'll be able to get my hands on some copies. Did you map your state history out and study in timeline order? I'm surprised it's not easier to find more info on state history studies.
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